|♫ "I like to move it move it" ♫|
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By Peter Lyle: I can't pretend this was my idea. The inspirational, successful, strong and handsome founder and editor of Manzine, asked me if I'd like to write it: The Limits Of Self-Deprecation. I felt that I would, and I quickly began to formulate some pretty obvious observations around the subject. I then sat around for a few days, which soon became a number of weeks, and now it's a couple of months.
It was when I finished that paragraph. Another fortnight's passed now. I'm going to just write it anyway, because I think the title merits it. The Limits of Self-Deprecation, once someone puts it to you exactly like that, is an interesting thing to ponder. I knew that right away, but what it was was, I didn't know if aforementioned editor Kevin had any specific thoughts or referents in addition to that title. He didn't - not to share anyway, he just let that title hang there for me, like some mystic cryptic master of Wu-Shu taking me up a few Dans or whatnot. The phrase must just have unfurled in his mind, like a quivering curlicue of airborne cherry blossom drifting into the view of a priest sat crosslegged on a meditation mat atop an unmapped misty mountain.
Also, really the whole point of Manzine and the fun of it for us was to not have to write those stories where we say Oooh, this place/person/trend is interesting, because, and then give newsy celebrity examples 1, 2 and 3 and boom – you've got your trite cultural phenom. And that's relevant because I started trying to write this a bit before the Oscars. Knowing Colin Firth was the favourite, and hearing all his twinkly self-deprecating wit and understated charm and that in the build-up and at the Golden Globes, I worried I might end up starting this like an ES column. And of course, at the end of February, he's gone and won it and gave it, "I have a feeling my career's just peaked", and then he went on to paint himself as a pathetic specimen in words so carefully and wittily chosen that you knew, as if you didn't already, that he was quite the opposite.
We like magazines, we work in magazines and we have lots of magazines, and we have, unsurprisingly, tended to find that similar things are true of many of our readers. So when an esteemed friend of Manzine suggested we inaugurate a magazine appreciation column to celebrate this common area of interest, we thought it was a sensible idea.
Here, then, are selected editorial and advertising highlights from two 1948 issues of Fortune, the American business magazine that was founded just after the Great Depression. It's a large format, perfect-bound beauty with a embarrassment of editorial and advertising riches, from smart stories on the impact on the new craze of the year, TV, to numerous celebrations of the possibilities of plastic. Founding art director Thomas Cleland had started out as a self-taught book typesetter in his teens, and the text treatments are as striking and accomplished as the photography and witty graphics. Basically, it's rather brilliant and bold.
The Mid-Life Marvel of The Peter Pan Sculpture in London’s Trendy Hyde Park – and what it means. By Peter Lyle.
There are no edifying ways to be a man in the modern world. You can basically be a compliant, right-on, super-sensitive, shit-taking pussy, and hate yourself for that, or you can be an overbearing, self-gratifying, Machivellian egomaniac, and have more fun but do more harm too, and eventually feel at least as revolting and ashamed. But the point is, either way, you're trapped inside a gender that surrendered all its fading claims to a distinct, important earthly purpose a good three or four decades ago.
As a boy, I tried to adapt to this indubitable and inglorious truth by reminding myself that I was a boy, and that was different. The downside of that was that I started mourning my lost childhood before it was even over. Melancholy, sometimes sentimental, artworks about the irretrievability of youth and the inevitable rubbishness of the adult male (typically represented by a well-meaning buffoon of a father) became a serious preoccupation. The original, perfect “National Lampoon's Vacation”; the mighty Tove Jansson's “Moominpoppa at Sea”; Jeffrey Eugenides' chorus of heartbroken Virgin Suicides narrators; Oscar Wilde's fairy stories; the Borribles, Michael Barry's London street kids who never grew up, and “On the Nickel” a Tom Waits song about tramps in Downtown LA that always makes me cry snot and adopt the foetal position before the second bar's over.
|A zomnie, imagined by Peter Lyle|
By Dick Valentine, of Electric Six.
In assessing the existence – or lack thereof – of monsters, extra-terrestrials, and demons, we are quick to rely, much too often in my opinion, on the time-honored traditions of evidence and science, and even, on occasion, scientific evidence. Where the farmer sees the strange lights over his farm, a quick and handy explanation rooted in the man-made (the weather balloon, the ICBM, the bottle rocket, and so on…) will always win out over the relatively fantastic: the alien spaceship.
Yet, as demonstrated in the prior paragraph, there is a word that denotes the concept of "monster". That word is "monster". And, in the same way, there is a word that denotes the concept of "demon". That word is "demon". And because we have these concepts in our popular consciousness and these words in our lexicon, we need not concern ourselves with the reality that no single atom, molecule or quark is presently assigned to the physical composition of a demon or a monster. The concepts alone of such beings are the projected manifestations of the being – that is to say, they don't need mass to exist. They need only a receptor to interpret the projected manifestation. That receptor is almost always the human mind, and lately, it seems the human mind du jour of these beings is my own.